What’s the Most Useless Activity? The Celebration of the Liturgy

It would be hard to overestimate the impact of Fr. Barron’s Catholicism series. The DVD series was released in 2011 and is now the most-watched Catholic documentary in history. It has had an impact around the world. Here’s a small excerpt from the book that goes by the same title–Catholicism.

“Aristotle said that the best activities are the most useless. This is because such things are not simply means to a further end but are done entirely for their own sake. Thus watching a baseball game is more important than getting a haircut, and cultivating a friendship is more valuable than making money. The game and the friendship are goods that are excellent in themselves, while getting a haircut and making money are in service of something beyond themselves. This is also why the most important parts of the newspaper are the sports section and the comics, and not, as we could customarily think, the business and political reports. In this sense, the most useless activity of all is the celebration of the Liturgy, which is another way of saying that it is the most important thing we could possibly do. There is no higher good than to rest in God, to honor him for his kindness, to savor his sweetness–in a word, to praise him. As we have seen in chapter three, every good comes from God, reflects God, and leads back to God, and, therefore, all value is summed up in the celebration of the Liturgy, the supreme act by which we commune with God.

This is why the great liturgical theologian Romano Guardini said that the liturgy is a consummate form of play. We play football and we play musical instruments because it is simply delightful to do so, and we play in the presence of the Lord for the same reason.” (pp. 172-73)

Catholicism

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About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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